Experimental Jazz Punk from Brooklyn …Meet, Mean Jean Oaks

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Maybe it’s Jazz Punk Rock with some Surf thrown in just for fun. Bat Surfing is a catchy tune anyway you look at it, some pretty cool stuff, so give a listen and Meet…Mean Jean Oaks…

Hi our name is….

The Mean Jean Oaks.

And our sound might be best described as….

A hodgepodge of many different genres and influences, ranging from Fugazi to Chad VanGaalen to Devo to The Jesus Lizard to Medeski, Martin & Wood. Many of these influences only show up in our live show and rehearsals.

We are…..
Brian (Hulkerland) on drums and samples, Andy (AndyOaks) on bass guitar, Danny (H2Oaks) on guitar.

We are originally from…..
We grew up in the NYC area and Mass. and now hail from Brooklyn and Queens. We started out in Greenpoint and our new space is over on North 1st and Kent.

The first time we met was…..

Through our friend and guitarist/producer Bret Puchir, Oaks started out as a weekly jam session in Greenpoint at Brian’s original Oakerland Lounge.

We knew we were going to be a Band when………

we kept playing during the 2 years of not having our own place to jam and hangout.

Before starting the band we were employed as…….

We’re all still employed, Brian is a mural artist and designer, Andy is finishing up his MFA at Pratt and Danny is a geographer at Columbia.

Our craziest gig ever was….

when we shut down the old Oakerland lounge in Greenpoint. Rising rents and expanding businesses forced us to leave our huge basement space. It was part rec room, part art studio and part rehearsal space. So when we left we decided to throw a huge party, we had 4 other bands that were awesome, a punk band, an r & b band, a rock band, a pedal-board art band and then us. We were supposed to go on at midnight but ended up starting our set close to 3 am. It was without a doubt our least coherent gig but it ended with us smashing an old tube TV and the landlord taking some of our gear hostage the next day as collateral for damages for a missing ceramic elephant.

The first song we wrote was…….

That’s a good question. Our first shows and songs were completely improvised so we have no idea. I’d say the oldest song of the 10 or so we play now would have to be Bat Surfing.

It’s about……
going surfing and remembering to bring your bat.

What we are currently listening to….

We’re always listening to a wide range of music at the space. For every hour of work we get done I’d say we do about 2 hours of hanging out and listening to music. So we’ll listen to new records one band member finds, then we’ll listen to some old school jazz tunes, then we’ll listen to some Fugazi bootlegs, Roxy music, Devo, The Jesus Lizard. Brian has a ton of old 70’s music soundtracks that we listen to as well. Danny is always sneaking in phish instrumentals and Andy has quite an eclectic taste ranging from The Knife to heavy metal. Perhaps the one weirdest ritual we do is listen to Disque 9 for ideas/palette cleansing. Lately we’ve been listening to sampled stuff from Taxi Driver and Mel Gibson rants which we hope to be incorporating into our new songs.

A few albums we could never part with….
Disque 9- Des Incurables
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew
Devo .Q:Are We Not Men. A: We Are Devo!
Phish-The Sickest Disc
Fugazi – Repeater.

For fun we like to…..

Hang at the Oakerland lounge, jam, and then go to the The Levee (Berry and N 1st) after practice. We used to love The Second Chance Saloon on Grand St. but Levee has become our new second home.

The one thing we want you to remember while your listening to us……

“We’re in space and space is the place.”

Expect….
a few shows in the summer and hopefully getting some recordings (maybe our first full-length) out this Fall/Winter.

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Scott

From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife , 4 great kids and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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